Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sangh Parivar was responsible for Orissa violence – Orissa CM

Bhubaneswar: Members of the Sangh parivar were involved in the communal violence in Kandhamal which claimed at least 38 lives besides causing damage to 4640 houses, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Monday.

"It is learnt from investigation into the riot cases that the members of RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal were involved in the violence that took place last year," Patnaik told the Assembly while replying to a question by a CPI member.

Sangh Parivar activists were arrested in this connection. Of them 85 were of the RSS and 321 members of VHP were rounded up on charge of riot. The number of Bajrang Dal workers arrested on charge of violence was 118, he said.

At least 27 persons allegedly involved in the riots were still in jails, the Chief Minister said.
He said house damage and house burning incidents were reported from at least 13 police station areas in Kandhama

To another question, Patnaik said the commission of inquiry probing the violence in Kandhamal after the killing of VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati had so far received affidavits of 383 persons and examined at least 34 government officials.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Christian couple beaten in Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh

Attackers threw one year old infant on the ground

November 19, 2009

Raipur (CPINDIA) – Suspected Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena workers disrupted a Church service and beat up the Pastor, his wife and another believer in Fuka Girola, Kondagaon Block, Bastar District, Chhattisgarh on November 15, 2009.

According to reports, about 50 Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena members stormed the Church service being held in the village shouting loud slogans. They accused the Christians present of forceful conversions and picked up a man identified only as Dhanshu and beat him up. Dhanshu is said to be 34 years old and had his left year bleeding because of the beating that he received at the hands of the attackers.

When he was being beaten up, the Pastor, Anjan Kumar Netam, 35years, tried to resolve the matter peacefully but instead invited the wrath of the attackers who beat him up instead. They tore his clothes, took away his gold chain and Rupees 3000 from his purse.

When his wife Sonam, 30 years, tried to intervene she too was slapped and beaten.

Not only this, in a display of a complete lack of humanness, the attackers snatched the one year old baby boy of the Pastor from Sonam and threw him on the side.

The attackers were led by Ashutosh Pandey, the secretary of the Bajrang Dal, who also filed a complaint against the Pastor and other believers in the Kondagaon police station.

Pastor Kumar was admitted in the RNT hospital at Kondagaon for treatment of his injuries. The police only filed his FIR 5 days after the incident.

Church attacked again in Karnataka, Sources say it is the 56th case in 2009

Bangalore (CPINDIA) – Beersheba Church of God was the latest Church to bear the wrath of the Hindutva brigade. According to reports, a group of unknown assailants attacked the Church on the night of 17th November. They broke into the Church at about 3:00 am and created havoc. The attackers broke the furniture, demolished doors, broke windows, and even removed the cross from the top of the building.

Chandrapa Devdas, the priest who leads the Church, informed the police and briefed the local media about the incident. The police Commissioner Mr. N Sathish Kumar assured the members of the Christian community of “prompt investigation” and action within 3 days.

According to GCIC, the latest attack on the Church in Humanabad brings the tally of attacks against Churches in Karnataka at 56. On November 12, 2009 another Church was attacked at Shimoga by VHP workers.

Sajan George, the president of the GCIC told the media: "The government is failing in its duty to protect Christian minorities and keep at bay the Hindu radicals .... The chain of political acquittals of the BJP, Manoj Pradhan, one of the main instigators of the violence in Kandhamal, has made it clear to fundamentalists that they can get away with anything, without having to face justice".

Karnataka Church denounces 'moral policing'

MANGALORE, India : The Catholic Church in Karnataka state has condemned recurrent attacks by Hindu extremists on youths from different religions socializing together.
"Why can't boys and girls from different religious communities have healthy interaction?" asks a statement the Karnataka Regional Catholic Bishops' Council (KRCBC) issued on Nov. 20.
The statement, signed by council secretary Father Faustine Lobo, "unequivocally" condemns "moral policing" by "fundamentalist outfits," which it says has frightened people in the southern state.
The statement accuses Karnataka's pro-Hindu government of "misguiding" the assailants to impose their own outdated moral principles on others. The Bharatiya Janata Party has governed the state since May 2008.
The attackers, many identified with the group Bajrang Dal (party of the strong and stout), have created fear and hatred among people, especially on the state's western coast, according to the KRCBC.
Karnataka has witnessed 12 such incidents in the past year, eight of them reported from Mangalore, a major coastal town.
In the latest incident on Nov. 15, a mob assaulted three Muslim youths traveling on a bus with two Hindu girls. The five had traveled to Mangalore to attend a sports selection camp, but the attackers accused the boys of "moving closely" with the girls.
This "moral policing" came to the fore last Jan. 25, when members of Sri Ram Sene (army of Lord Ram), another Hindu radical group, attacked eight women having lunch in a Mangalore pub. Women in India traditionally stay away from bars and liquor shops, and the attackers accused their victims of corrupting Hindu culture.
Just two weeks later on Feb. 11, a 16-year-old Hindu girl committed suicide the day after extremists publicly humiliated her for being "friendly" with a Muslim boy and handed the pair to police.
"Who has given them power to safeguard girls from interacting with boys from minority communities?" the Catholic bishops ask.
Their statement says the Hindu groups want only to divide people on the basis of religion for political gain.
Karnataka has close to 53 million people, and nearly 84 percent are Hindus. Muslims constitute about 12 percent, while Christians make up less than 2 percent.
The KRCBC said the world is watching as the majority group rides roughshod over the rights of minorities, while "the police and the government are apathetic to the victims' pleas."
The bishops also approved the forming of people's vigilant committees to prevent such moral policing. "The Church is ready to join such initiatives to establish peace and harmony in society," they said.
Denis D'Silva, a former state president of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement, welcomed the bishops' move. "If we do not react against moral policing we would be promoting it," he said.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nine Convicted, 5 Acquitted, Manoj Pradhan, the mastermind of the Orissa violence on a fast track to acquittals

November 19, 2009, Bhubaneshwar (CPINDIA) - Nine persons were convicted and sentenced for four years rigorous imprisonments for their role in the Kandhamal anti-Christian violence of 2008.

A fast track court at Phulbani sentenced the nine, while acquitting 5 persons including Manoj Pradhan, the BJP legislator, who is allegedly believed to be the master mind of the violence in Kandhamal.

Manoj Pradhan has been let off for a fourth time by the fast track court due to lack of evidence.

The case pertained to an incident of house burning. Speaking to the media public prosecutor P.K. Patra said, "Nine people have been convicted and five have been acquitted in the case. They were accused of torching the house of Ratha Nayak of Mlahupanga village under Raikia Police Station area in Kandhamal district on Aug 27, 2008. The acquitted includes Manoj Pradhan, the legislator from G Udayagiri in Kandhamal,"